Friday, February 18, 2011

*Smack* Went the Light Bulb

I've had a few breakthroughs this week and I thought I would share them with you, as they were brought about by the lovely blogging universe (You guys rock!).

First, I was getting intensely frustrated by my quickly growing blog lineup.  It's hard to keep track of 50 (as of right now) blogs!  Granted, about 10 of them are either personal or fashion blogs (just for fun).

Rach, over at Rach Writes, wrote about organizing your blogs Using Google Reader.  After years of denying myself a Gmail account (how long has Gmail been around), I signed up; just so I could gain access to this sacred program.  You can skim unread posts quickly, star what you want to go back to, sort by type of blog, link to actual blog pages (to comment).  It cut down my blogging time by at least an hour.  If you haven't created an account, do it (seriously).  Also, check out Rach's blog (linked above).  It's great!

Second, I was an English Lit major in college and yet I didn't take a single writing class (I am so smrt!).  I've always known that I would love to write, but never thought I would be able to do it (lacking talent or determination maybe?).  I never took the time to actually sit down (or stand up...?) and consider the option.  Also, because of my debilitating fear of failure (I know, failure only occurs when you stop trying.  Try convincing my 20 year old brain of this fact), I was afraid of being told my writing sucked.  It's no fun to have even only half recognized dreams squashed.

All that to say; I didn't take a writing class in college.  So, I go into this journey with what little I've gathered from my writer friends and the petrifying feeling of becoming quickly overwhelmed.  So, then I read This blog post by Melissa West at M.B. Writes and the light bulb hit me in the face.  I realized that A) a first draft does not have to be as in-depth and scary as I was making it in my head (or on paper).  B) I need to focus more on my main plot. C) I am not alone!  I can look in books and ask for assistance.  These were things I'm pretty sure were rattling around in my brain, but had not fully sunk in yet.

Thank you Rach and Melissa!

This week in review

Good things:
  • What I said in my blog above.
  • I organized email this week.  I am email Martha Stewart (Is there someone better I could compare myself to
  • I at two yummy pieces of pizza for lunch.
  • I'm happy
  • I'm going swing dancing tonight.
  • I'm getting internet tomorrow
  • It's Friday!
  • Tomorrow is Saturday!
  • I get to see the first five Oscar nominated films tomorrow (Next five = next week).
  • I watched Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog again this week
  • I am cleaning my apartment tonight after shower/before swing dancing
Bad things
  • From my seat I can smell all cooking that goes on in the breakroom.  Someone just burned popcorn.
  • I have a giant pimple on my chin.
  • I didn't shower this morning (eeeeeeeew).
  • I've gone back on the soda this week.
  • I ate two calorie ridden pieces of pizza for lunch.
  • I'm tired from not sleeping enough all week.
  • My hands smell like garlic.
  • I haven't written much this week.
  • My shoes are giving me blisters (although they are very cute).
  • It will be a stretch making it to a gas station after work.


  1. I love your good/bad list. I've never done that would be interesting, but I'm afraid of seeing all the bad things bunched together.

    You are right, we all share so many similar struggles in writing. You're not alone!

  2. Google Reader is great, isn't it?

  3. I recognise a lot of myself (back in the day...) in your paragraph about the Eng Major who never took a creative writing class. Well, we didn't have creative writing courses where I was, but I never had the nerve to write for any student publication, for all the reasons you list. All I can add is to emphasize what good advice your light bulb has led to - give yourself a break, it doesn't have to be perfect first time! Or even at 20...

  4. I like google reader as a way to read blogs. The only thing I miss about it is not being able to comment on blogs from Google reader.

  5. Amen to this: "A first draft does not have to be as in-depth and scary as I was making it in my head (or on paper)." Once we writers understand this, it's a freedom you experience. Love it!

    Also, thanks for the tip about Google Reader. I'm going to look into it, that would be a great way to manage all the blogs I follow.

  6. Krista - I am so very glad you feel more at ease with your writing. It's a journey, please don't be so hard on yourself. I'm not sure if you are writing your 1st book or 10th, but it gets easier with each MS. If you haven't checked out Verla Kay's message board, do! It is fantastic.

    And love your good/bad list. My mom used to tell me that shoes weren't for comfort, they're for fashion. :)

  7. Ah, Google Reader. I found it a few months ago, after having had a Google account for *years*... Actually first read this post on Reader. :D

    Finding out you're not alone is always a big step as a writer, I think. I remember the day I found an online writing community and my first writing how-to book and was just shocked at not being the only person to ever go through my trials and tribulations.

  8. Oh girl, Google Reader changed my life a few years ago!! Love it!

    I'm still trying to convince myself that a first draft is not the be all end all. sigh. I'm glad I'm not alone!

  9. If it is any consolation, I did take writing classes in college and I didn't actually get much out of them. Strange to say, but I've learned a lot more by reading books on writing and browsing the blogs of those more knowledgeable than me. Sure the classes forced me to write, but that was about it. :/

    Besides, the classes you did take, in which you learned to analyze and understand literature, will probably be tremendously helpful!